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Sonoma: Practice 1 times

Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay led the way in the first official practice session for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in California.
Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay was narrowly ahead at the end of the first 45 minute practice session at Sonoma Raceway on Friday morning, after posting a lap of 1:18.6814s during the 45 minute session. That was just 0.0162s ahead of Penske's Helio Castroneves, while Dario Franchitti - who topped the times in the mid-week open test attended by all 25 drivers on Wednesday - was third fastest on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course.

"We're working so hard to close the gap to the championship points lead so we're looking to make big gains this weekend," said Hunter-Reay, who hasn't finished better than eighth place at Sonoma in the past.

There were no significant incidents, although there was a three minute red flag midway through the session after a tyre became dislodged at turn 9 and needed to be retrieved. Ryan Briscoe has a minor scare ten minutes into the session when he reported hitting a kerb hard in the #4 Panther Racing car and decided to return to the pits for a checkover, but he was soon back out on track and continuing his programme.

Lynne Huntting of PressSnoop.com reports from trackside that the sun came full out well before the start of the session and that the temperatures climbed to the low sixties Fahrenheit with a desultory breeze. Some of the drivers turned just a few laps and quickly pitted in line with a wait-and-see tactic, while Dragon's Sebastian Saavedra ran the most laps with 17 in the books by the chequered flag.

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing's IndyCar rookie Lucas Luhr tested his limits in the #97 car with a harmless spin in turn seven, which Brembo Brakes calculates is the most difficult corner at Sonoma Raceway for IndyCars compared with NASCAR which views turn 11 as the hardest corner in the Sprint Cup configuration of the track. Luhr went on to run eleven laps and finished last for the session of the 25 cars.

There's a further 45 minute practice session on Friday afternoon and a third on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. A half-hour warm-up on Sunday morning precedes the race itself which gets underway at around 1.45pm California time (9.45pm BST)

Practice 1 times

1. #1 Ryan Hunter-Reay (C) 109.124mph 1:18.6814s (6 laps)
2. #3 Helio Castroneves (C) 109.101mph 1:18.6976s + 0.0162s (7 laps)
3. #10 Dario Franchitti (H) 108.942mph 1:18.8124s + 0.1310s (7 laps)
4. #25 Marco Andretti (C) 108.719mph 1:18.9740s + 0.2926s (5 laps)
5. #4 Ryan Briscoe (C) 108.659mph 1:19.0182s + 0.3368s (12 laps)
6. #19 Justin Wilson (H) 108.640mph 1:19.0318s + 0.3504s (12 laps)
7. #7 Sebastien Bourdais (C) 108.569mph 1:19.0834s + 0.4020s (8 laps)
8. #5 EJ Viso (C) 108.549mph 1:19.0976s + 0.4162s (7 laps)
9. #98 JR Hildebrand (H) 108.468mph 1:19.1567s + 0.4753s (15 laps)
10. #27 James Hinchcliffe (C) 108.413mph 1:19.1968s + 0.5154s (10 laps)
11. #67 Josef Newgarden (H) 108.218mph 1:19.3398s + 0.6584s (8 laps)
12. #12 Will Power (C) 108.100mph 1:19.4268s + 0.7454s (8 laps)
13. #15 Graham Rahal (H) 108.007mph 1:19.4952s + 0.8138s (14 laps)
14. #16 James Jakes (H) 108.003mph 1:19.4977s + 0.8163s (11 laps)
15. #9 Scott Dixon (H) 107.999mph 1:19.5009s + 0.8195s (7 laps)
16. #55 Tristan Vautier (H) 107.920mph 1:19.5590s + 0.8776s (12 laps)
17. #6 Sebastian Saavedra (C) 107.866mph 1:19.5990s + 0.9176s (17 laps)
18. #78 Simona De Silvestro (C) 107.862mph 1:19.6014s + 0.9200s (12 laps)
19. #18 James Davison (H) 107.645mph 1:19.7624s + 1.0810s (14 laps)
20. #11 Tony Kanaan (C) 107.466mph 1:19.8950s + 1.2136s (10 laps)
21. #14 Takuma Sato (H) 107.415mph 1:19.9330s + 1.2516s (12 laps)
22. #77 Simon Pagenaud (H) 107.304mph 1:20.0155s + 1.3341s (11 laps)
23. #83 Charlie Kimball (H) 107.046mph 1:20.2088s + 1.5274s (10 laps)
24. #20 Ed Carpenter (C) 107.020mph 1:20.2279s + 1.5465s (13 laps)
25. #97 Lucas Luhr (H) 106.087mph 1:20.9336s + 2.2522s (11 laps)

Total Laps: 259



Related Pictures

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Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates on the podium after coming first in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, driver of the #1 DHL Andretti Autosport Chevrolet, wins the pole position Saturday, August 3, 2013 for Sunday`s Indy 200 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Hunter-Reay`s 124.385 m.p.h. lap was just two-hundredths of a second off the track record. (Photo by Phillip Abbott for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay at the Sonoma open test - Wednesday, August 21 2013 (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Chevy Racing sweeps the podium with race winner Sebastien Bourdais (center), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the first of two IndyCar Series races in Toronto, Canada. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves (left), driver of the #3 PPV Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, and third-place finisher Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, join the celebration. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Rain drops on a space nose cone for Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe`s car in Canadian mode (Photo By Chris Owens for IndyCar media)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a fourteenth-place finish Saturday, July 13, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Power lost the championship points lead to teammate Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who finished eighth. (Photo by Dan Streck/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, races to a third-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, takes over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet V6, took over the championship points lead with an eighth-place finish Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The #28 Andretti Autosport team celebrates victory (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay gets a new ride (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay with the winner`s trophy (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay celebrates (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, qualifies third Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo by Brett Moist/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Briscoe (left), driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, talks with teammate Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 TNT Energy Drink Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6, during qualifying Friday, July 11, 2014 for Saturday`s race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Briscoe qualified fourth, Kanaan second and teammate Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won the pole. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Hunter-Reay sits in his car during a rain delay at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)

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